The hockey world was rocked by an egregious scandal that rocked our frail nation to its very core when a player for the Philadelphia Flyers refused to wear rainbow-colored clothing during a warm-up on the teams Celebrate Pride Night! Even worse, not only did the team not strap this offending player immediately to a catapult (or some kind of trebuchet), they allowed him to actually do the thing he’s paid to do: play hockey!
Ivan Provorov went from a name that no one outside the sports world knew to enemy number 1 for the liberal media instantly when he used his Russian Orthodox religious beliefs to decline in participating in the Pride festivities. “I respect everyone. I respect everybody’s choices. My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion,” Provorov told reporters after the game. He would have had to wear a rainbow jersey and used rainbow hockey tape during the warm up.
NHL commentators exploded with this response. Canadian sports pundit Sid Seixeiro demanded that the NHL fine the Flyers $1 million. “Nothing scares me more than any human being who says I’m not doing this because of my religious beliefs,” Seixeiro said. “Because when you look at people’s lives who normally say that publicly, you’d throw up at what you saw. You would throw up at what you saw. And I’ve seen that a million times in a lot of different ways. So don’t give me that. With respect, don’t gimme that, because no one’s perfect. Don’t feed me the religious beliefs line and all of a sudden the NHL is going to back off this.” Nothing scares him more than people refusing to participate in a Pride night event citing their religious beliefs? Nothing?
Then there’s NHL Network senior reporter EJ Hradek saying that Provorov should go back to where he came from and insinuated that he should join the Russian military and fight in Ukraine. “Listen, you can feel the way you want, but the beauty is if it bothers you that much, there’s always a chance to leave, go back when you feel more comfortable - I understand there’s a conflict of sorts going on over there, maybe get involved,” Hradek said. Flashing back to 2019, when Trump said that if Ilhan Omar hated America so much, she should “go back” to Somalia, where she was born, and help fix that country. If that was racist and xenophobic, then this should be as well, should it not?
Then there’s ESPN senior NHL writer Greg Wyshynski, who was angry that Provorov participated in military appreciation night, which also had custom jerseys that players wore during warm up. “Of course, Ivan Provorov is more than happy to play pregame dress-up when it does align with his belief system,” he wrote on Twitter with a picture of the jersey. The argument seems to be that if you appreciate a military that keeps you safe and has protected the country you live in while you are able to make vast amounts of money playing the game you love, you should also celebrate…the LGBT community?
The examples go on and on, with commentators demanding that Provorov be dropped from the team and a bevy of name calling. John Tortorella, the coach of the Flyers, is standing behind Provorov, much to his credit. “Provy did nothing wrong,” Tortorella said. “Just because you don’t agree with his decision, doesn’t mean he did anything wrong.”
Why does this matter? How do the actions of a hockey player in Philadelphia affect the Jewish community in New York? Because it’s become increasingly obvious that the age of tolerance is far behind us. It used to be that the only thing asked of people regarding individual orientations was a tolerance that these are the way they are living their life, and not to judge them about it. Most people, even in the religious communities, accepted that. Yet, that is not the ask anymore. Now the demand is mandatory participation in the celebration of this lifestyle, or you are labeled a bigot and subject to penalties.
This is perfectly obvious in the Yeshiva University case regarding its hosting of a student Pride Club on campus. Aside from the legal costs and ramifications that YU must endure simply to continue practicing its own adherence to religious beliefs, students are being penalized for even attending a school that dares to not celebrate Pride. A viral email was going around on WhatsApp where CohnResnick, one of the top accounting firms in the country, stated that they will no longer participate in the YU job fair. “[T]he University’s current stance on LGBTQ+ issues does not align with CohnReznick’s core values and, as such, we will be taking a break from sponsoring formal recruiting events at Yeshiva,” the email read.
While they claim that this does not affect applicants from Yeshiva University, why should anyone believe that? If a recruiter is sufficiently “woke,” to the point of putting pronouns in the signature line of the email, why wouldn’t that same recruiter judge anyone with a Jewish-sounding name or coming from a Jewish school as not being sufficiently on board with the Pride agenda? Moreover, why is it a “core value” of an accounting firm to celebrate the orientation of a group of people more than its a “core value” to celebrate the religious affiliation of a group of people?
Is it farfetched to assume that employers will start pressuring (or even requiring) a dress code that “celebrates Pride,” like they did with Provorov? Even if they can’t enforce this type of coerced participation, what are the repercussions for those who don’t participate? Will promotions be held back or raises reduced? If you think this is crazy and can’t happen, what makes you so confident? The Pride movement is working hard to ensure that there are laws in place forcing bakers to bake wedding cakes in celebration of gay marriage, and florists forced to design arrangements. President Joe Biden just signed a law that gives no protection to individuals who want to adhere to their religion outside of their religious institutions. So while synagogues many not be forced by law to participate in a gay wedding, you may be forced to wear a rainbow pin.
“What’s the big deal?” the detractors might say. This is the problem in a nutshell. No one thinks that the next forced participation in the Pride cult is a big deal, or the next one or the one after that. Yet each time we allow this to occur without a fight (at the very least), we erode our own belief system that has been at the core of the Jewish nation for thousands of years. Each generation of Jews has a responsibility to the future of Judaism, as well as the past.
The question should not be, “Is it a big deal to participate in the celebration of this lifestyle?” The question should be: “Are you willing to throw out the identity you were born into and continue to work for every day for the forceful celebration of another’s identity?” How much are you willing to give up because of the pressure that society brings to bear? For most people, it’s a lot, and they don’t even think about it. But they should, because the moment they are forced to think about it, it’s already too late.
Moshe Hill is a political columnist and Senior Fellow at Amariah, an America First Zionist organization. Moshe has a weekly column in the Queens Jewish Link, and has been published in Daily Wire, CNS News, and other outlets. You can follow Moshe on his blog www.aHillwithaView.com, facebook.com/aHillwithaView, and twitter.com/HillWithView. A Hill With a View is now on YouTube! Subscribe today to get the latest content. Just search “A Hill with a View” to get started. Get A Hill with a View directly to your inbox! Text HILLVIEW to 22828 to sign up to the newsletter.